Shelter

Introduction

Bangkok is one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant and exciting cities, offering expats a fantastic base from which to explore the region. However, while many expats living in Bangkok are familiar with the most popular travel destinations, such as Bali, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, there are numerous other lesser-known international getaways that are easily accessible by air. The purpose of this blog post is to introduce expats in Bangkok to some of these alternative travel destinations and inspire them to embark on a new adventure.

In selecting the destinations included in this blog post, we considered a few factors, including ease of travel from Bangkok, affordability, and cultural and historical significance. Our goal was to identify destinations that are less commonly known but still offer a unique and enriching travel experience for expats looking to explore beyond the usual hotspots.

Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a bustling city that blends traditional Vietnamese culture with French colonial architecture. Visitors can explore the city’s historic temples and pagodas, sample delicious street food, and stroll around the serene Hoan Kiem Lake.

Travelers can easily fly from Bangkok to Hanoi with several airlines, including Vietnam Airlines and Thai Airways. Flights take around 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Some of the must-visit attractions in Hanoi include the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and the Hanoi Old Quarter. Visitors can also take a street food tour to sample some of the city’s famous dishes like pho and banh mi.

For accommodation, we recommend staying in the Old Quarter to experience the city’s traditional charm. Some great options include La Siesta Trendy Hotel & Spa and Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa. When it comes to food, be sure to try the egg coffee at Cafe Giang and the grilled pork at Bun Cha Dac Kim.

Siem Reap

Siem Reap is a city in northwest Cambodia and is the gateway to the famous Angkor Wat temple complex, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can explore the ancient ruins and learn about the rich history of the Khmer Empire.

Travelers can fly from Bangkok to Siem Reap with several airlines, including Thai Smile Airways and Cambodia Angkor Air. Flights take around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

The Angkor Wat temple complex is the main attraction in Siem Reap and is definitely worth spending a day exploring. Other must-visit sites include the Angkor National Museum and the Phare Circus, which showcases traditional Cambodian dance and acrobatics.

For accommodation, we recommend staying at the Memoire d’Angkor Boutique Hotel or the Shinta Mani Shack. Both hotels offer comfortable rooms and are conveniently located near the city center. When it comes to food, be sure to try the fish amok at Cuisine Wat Damnak and the coconut curry at Chamkar Vegetarian Restaurant.

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is a charming town in northern Laos, located at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. The town is known for its well-preserved traditional architecture, numerous temples, and stunning natural scenery.

Travelers can fly from Bangkok to Luang Prabang with airlines such as Bangkok Airways and Lao Airlines. Flights take around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Some of the top attractions in Luang Prabang include the Kuang Si Falls, the Royal Palace Museum, and the Pak Ou Caves. Visitors can also take a stroll through the town’s night market and try some of the local street food.

For accommodation, we recommend staying at the Mekong Riverview Hotel or the Satri House. Both hotels offer comfortable rooms and a great location close to the town center. When it comes to food, be sure to try the Lao-style grilled fish at Tamarind and the traditional Laotian noodles at Khao Soy Lamphu Restaurant.

Yangon

Yangon is the largest city in Myanmar and is known for its colonial architecture, bustling markets, and religious sites. Visitors can explore the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda, sample delicious Burmese cuisine, and take a walking tour of the historic downtown area.

Travelers can fly from Bangkok to Yangon with several airlines, including Thai Airways and Myanmar Airways International. Flights take around 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Some of the top attractions in Yangon include the Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple, the Bogyoke Aung San Market, and the Sule Pagoda. Visitors can also take a Yangon Circular Train ride to experience local life and see the city from a different perspective.

For accommodation, we recommend staying at the Rosewood Yangon or the Belmond Governor’s Residence. Both hotels offer luxurious amenities and are conveniently located near the city’s main attractions. When it comes to food, be sure to try the tea leaf salad at Rangoon Tea House and the traditional Burmese curry at Shan Yoe Yar.

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia and is known for its rich history, vibrant street life, and stunning architecture. Visitors can explore the Royal Palace, learn about the country’s turbulent past at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, and sample delicious Cambodian cuisine.

Travelers can fly from Bangkok to Phnom Penh with several airlines, including Thai Airways and Cambodia Angkor Air. Flights take around 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Some of the must-visit attractions in Phnom Penh include the Choeung Ek Killing Fields, the National Museum of Cambodia, and the Central Market. Visitors can also take a boat ride along the Mekong River and explore the city’s many temples.

For accommodation, we recommend staying at the Plantation Urban Resort and Spa or the Raffles Hotel Le Royal. Both hotels offer comfortable rooms and a great location near the city’s main attractions. When it comes to food, be sure to try the Khmer-style curry at Friends the Restaurant and the traditional Cambodian fish amok at Malis Restaurant.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we’ve covered five lesser-known international getaways from Bangkok that expats living and working in the city can explore. These destinations include Hanoi, Vietnam, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Luang Prabang in Laos, and Yangon in Myanmar. Each of these destinations offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making them an excellent choice for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

While Bangkok is a vibrant and exciting city, it’s always good to take a break and explore other parts of Southeast Asia. These lesser-known international getaways offer a chance to experience new cultures, try delicious cuisine, and take in breathtaking natural scenery. Moreover, these destinations are easily accessible from Bangkok, making them an ideal choice for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation. So why not pack your bags and discover the hidden gems of Southeast Asia just a short flight away from Bangkok?


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